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Application of Artificial Neural Networks for Noise Barrier Optimization

Laboratory of Environmental and Industrial Acoustics and Acoustic Comfort, Federal University of Paraná, Curitiba 81530-000, Brazil
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Environments 2018, 5(12), 135; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments5120135
Received: 1 November 2018 / Revised: 4 December 2018 / Accepted: 5 December 2018 / Published: 10 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Solutions Mitigating Environmental Noise Pollution)
In the modern world, noise pollution continues to be a major problem that impairs people’s health, and road traffic is a primary contributor to noise emissions. This article describes an environmental impact study of the noise generated by the reconstruction of an urban section of a highway. Noise maps were calculated, and an environmental impact matrix was generated to determine the environmental impact of this reconstruction. The implementation of noise barriers was simulated based on these noise maps, and the effectiveness of the barriers was evaluated using Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs) combined with Design of Experiments (DoE). A functional variable significance analysis was then made for two parameters, namely, the coefficient of absorption of the barrier material and the barrier height. The aim was to determine the influence of these parameters on sound attenuation and on the formation of acoustic shadows. The results obtained from the ANNs and DoE were consistent in demonstrating that the absorption coefficient strongly influences the noise attenuation provided by noise barriers, while barrier height is correlated with the formation of larger areas of acoustic shadow. The environmental impact matrix also indicates that the existence of noise pollution has a negative effect on the environment, but that this impact can be reversed or minimized. The application of simulated noise barriers demonstrated that noise levels can be reduced to legally acceptable levels. View Full-Text
Keywords: Artificial Neural Networks; effects analysis; Design of Experiments; traffic noise; noise impact; sound pollution; sound barrier; educational environment Artificial Neural Networks; effects analysis; Design of Experiments; traffic noise; noise impact; sound pollution; sound barrier; educational environment
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Zannin, P.H.T.; Do Nascimento, E.O.; Da Paz, E.C.; Do Valle, F. Application of Artificial Neural Networks for Noise Barrier Optimization. Environments 2018, 5, 135.

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